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:: Incubus by Linda Rathgeber ::

He came again last night...
as he often does when
I am mostly content with my life
and have forgotten him,
a stratospheric glider plunging
through the nebulous layers of my dreams,
sweeping into my sleeping consciousness,
rousing memories of past lives forgotten
and places long unseen.

I've shivered to his silken laughter
countless times,
seen the starry glitter of his eyes
in the mullioned windows of high stone towers,
that, upon leaning too far past the vertical, fall
floating silently to earth as I run screaming,
hair streaming,
rime-stiffened grass disintegrating
beneath my heels.

He's the ragged, cross-eyed, sooty crow
who sneaky-follows four year olds to bed
and wedges himself into the intersection
of the planes of wall and ceiling where
even mothers armed with scratchity brooms
can't chase him far enough away.

His was the steaming,
weed-draped figure that dragged me,
face pressed into his brine-streaked chest,
across the sugary sand of a moonlit beach
and deep into a shimmering black sea where
my innocence was shattered
and I drown in breathless pleasure in his arms.

Lord of a netherworld of bleak
and craggy landscapes,
of pale twin suns not warm enough
to burn off the morning fog,
master of torchlit caves
and unmarked ships at sea,
of slaves like me, chained
to his dancing, musk-drenched bed.

He is slim with
smooth, hard flanks and skin like velvet,
golden panther's eyes that steal resolve
and melt resistance.
He settles his length upon me,
like a cloud envelops me
fusing his nerve endings to mine
and whispers,

"Would you like to fly?"

I slip free of my body,
light and transparent as a soap bubble.

But as always,
before we can ascend together to skim the stars
and merge with the great wheel of light
that rotates above us at the relative speed
of an Etruscan smile,
the thread that binds me to the earth is yanked
and, nerves blazing, I plummet back
to awareness...

To my husband's rapping on the pane of glass
that's framed behind our bed...

"That damned black cat is on the window sill again."

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